Monday, September 7th was Labor Day in the United States but it was also Independence Day in Brazil, commonly called Sete de Setembro or the Dia Da Independência. It celebrates Brazil’s Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom of Portugal which occurred on September 7th, 1822.
I worked with Wines of Brazil in 2019 and got to visit the wine region. This month, I will be writing about the wineries I visited as part of my trip in January 2019. Wines of Brazil has shuttered it’s doors for the moment but here’s to hoping they are able to start up again.
The first photo here is of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. This famous statue on the peak of Mount Corcovado was finished in 1931. It stands 98 feet tall and its arms stretch 92 feet across. Many people when they think of Brazil think of Rio, beaches, Carnival and this statue.
10 Key Facts About Brazilian Wines:
- Brazil has six main wine regions: Serra Gaúcha, Serra do Sudeste, Campanha, Campos de Cima da Serra, Planalto Catarinense and the Vale do São Francisco to the far North.
- The largest one is called Serra Gaûcha in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country, has 27 states.
- Brazil has about 150 wineries of a large dimension and more than 1,100 small farms, approximately two hectares per family. “The area of vineyards covered with table and vitis vinifera varieties in the country amounts to approximately 89,000 hectares located from north to south,” according to the Wines of Brasil website.
- Brazil is the fifth largest producer in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Brazil has been producing wines since the beginning of its colonization.
- The first vines were brought to Brazil in 1532 by Martim Afonso de Souza, who came from Portugal with the aim of disseminating agriculture in the new colony.
- It was the arrival of Italian immigrants, a process initiated in 1875, which really spurred growth in the sector.
- Many producers are making sparkling wines using a variety of grapes and production methods.
- There is no signature Brazilian grape as of today.
- The industry has undergone enormous changes in the past 15-20 years.
I look forward to sharing photos and comments about some of the amazing wines I tasted during this month. I loved visiting Brazil and while I am studying Portuguese, I spoke Italian most of the time to producers who are almost all of Italian descent from two Italian regions: the Veneto and Trentino.